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The U.S.-Israel Blowup

A Palestinian youth flashes the V sign during clashes near the Kalandia checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 17, 2010. (AP)

What a stretch it’s been in U.S.-Israel relations.

Joe Biden snubbed in Israel. The vice president quoted saying, essentially, that Israeli policy is getting American soldiers killed. The Pentagon seconding something like that notion. Hillary Clinton dressing down the Israeli prime minister. The Israeli ambassador in the headlines saying it’s the worst crisis in 35 years.

Now the headlines are full of denials, clarifications, and attestations of unbreakable bonds. But something unusual just broke in the open here. And it’s not over.

This hour, On Point: American interests and the blowup with Israel.

Guests:

Joining us from Washington are:

Mark Perry, an author who specializes in military, intelligence and foreign affairs analysis. His online piece for Foreign Policy magazine, “The Petraeus briefing: Biden’s embarrassment is not the whole story,” put the issue of the Pentagon’s interest in this issue in public in an unusual way. His book “Talking to Terrorists: Why America Must Engage With Its Enemies,” won the National Jewish Book Award.  He also served, from 1989 to 2004, as a consultant to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Martin Indyk, vice president and director of foreign policy at Brookings and former U.S. Ambassador to Israel. He is the author of “Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peacemaking Diplomacy in the Middle East.”

David Sanger, Pulitzer Prize-winning chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times. His book, “The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power,” has just come out in paperback in an updated edition.

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  • Michael

    before the white wash starts.

    just a few facts for people to know
    1. Israeli troops charged over use of boy as human shield, this is after israel said with pride that all of it’s troop did not break any laws
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124789802
    2. the day after Joe biden came israel approved 112 new houses in the west bank that were supposed to be frozen(still not reported on NPR)
    Israel okays new West Bank settler homes
    http://www.france24.com/en/20100308-israel-okays-new-west-bank-settler-homes

  • Michael

    3. Before Biden came to israel, israel took over a temple site where both Jes and Muslims prayed intentionally knowing it was going incite violence,along with only letting pallies age 50 and up to pray there
    “Tensions in East Jerusalem have risen in recent days with the settlements issue and the rededication of a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old City, which Palestinians have condemned as provocative”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8569548.stm
    4. Israel passed fewer than 6% of building requests by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2000-07, an Israeli anti-settlement group says.

    Peace Now says 91 permits were granted from 1,624 requests, in contrast to the 18,472 homes built for Jewish settlers.

  • Michael

    Lastly, today in the news on npr.org the israeli P.M. brother is now calling obama anti-Semite as well as General P. sees a threat to our national security because of israel government action including both updates as well as a deletion on the NPR website of all comment critical of Israel im talking pages

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/storyComments.php?storyId=124789802&pageNum=5&pPageNum=7

    http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/03/14/the_petraeus_briefing_biden_s_embarrassment_is_not_the_whole_story

  • Janet

    At the end of the day, ask yourself, who are you going to invite into your home for dinner?

  • trotchky

    I was wondering… Could Israel be the reason why we invaded Iraq. To this day, I have no idea why we did at such huge cost to our future

    http://www.humangenome.org/iraq/reasons.asp

    Could it be that money, arms and legs, well spent?

  • Anna

    Yes, it matters very much, and it has been going on too long. Just this morning on BBC, we heard the official, arrogant stand – we don’t care what you (or anyone else) thinks, we’ll keep settling and building, the same was said after the Biden’s visit. What kind of an “ally” is that? What USA needs to do is to withdraw any and all help to Israel.
    Given the so often talked about history of Jews, it is shocking to watch the “settlements”.

  • Honest Observer

    Thank you Michael for stating the truth about Israel’s hideous, illegal activity.

    The fact of the matter is that Israel is an outlaw nation practicing ethnic cleansing. Any other nation doing what Israel has done would be targeted by heavy sanctions and possibly even military intervention.

    The US will find itself the enemy of Arab nations and other muslim nations as long as we continue to underwrite such illegal and cruel institutional terrorism.

  • Dean

    Yes, trotchky, it cold indeed.

    Anna is right: Israel is no ally of the US.

    As soon as Israel abandons the notion of driving every Arab out of all of Palestine and retreats to its legal 1967 borders, only then will it become a viable US ally.

  • David Lewowicz Bronstein

    I am Zionist, if only because experience has proven that someone can kill a great fraction of my people and no-one else will sufficiently give a damn to do anything about it, and many of the rest will cheer on the effort.

    That being said, I welcome this change: Israel needs in us a friend of the sort that France was to us before the Iraq debacle…true, there may be a little bit of hostility involved in keeping the car keys away from your friend when he’s had too many, but it’s still in the end friendlier than telling him, ‘No, you’re not drunk.’

    Friends don’t let friends commit slow suicide.

  • http://google ed bailey

    Good Morning Tom;

    Let me make it clear,, I am NOT a racist nor am I prejudiced. I believe firmly in ” calling a spade a spade”. For the past 30 years I have seen the decline of America. We need to fumigate Washington from the Jewish influence.
    From the Wall Street disaster, to the pentagon, to the jobs dissapearaance and on an on. Names like : Wolfowitz (?), Paulson, Bernake, and Goldman Sacks, ande Lerman and on an on an on—there just seem to be a theme that is undeniable. When they have so much power to influence OUR policy—-Time to exert LEADERSHIP and put THEM in their place.

  • Dean

    The problem, Mr. Bronstein, is that Israel started the killing in the 1940s, and is leading in victims by a factor of ten! Israel is not the victim, but the perpetrator of violence.

  • Dean

    … Israel is not the victim, but the perpetrator of violence.

    …And the US has been the underwriter of all that violence against helpless Arabs for over 60 years.

  • Steve V

    Could someone talk about the extreme right wing in Israel, the people building these settlements. What is their influence in this issue?

  • Dean

    I take the strongest exception to ed bailey’s entry. Please, sir, keep the extremism and hate speech out of this.

  • Vincent Fogerty

    The only reason people keep spending lives and money is their belief that an invisible man had his “son” killed there. To be honest, basing a country on a religion (and yes I include all the Middle East here), is insane. Tell Israel to stop acting like monsters or we pull our complete support and they can just fall under the weight of bodies.

  • Adam Wanzer

    I would like to say that I think we (U.S.) have been infinitely patient with Israel. We are dealing with a nation that reinstituted the Sanhedrin. A group of 71 that regularly condemns their own nation’s generals for not being aggressive enough toward Palestinians. There are too many influential people there that do not want peace. Progress in the region requires cultural change and that is something that must be homegrown and I don’t see that happening any time soon. God bless them but they need to stop being so selfish and realize that they have neighbors.

  • Honest Observer

    Can anyone cite a single significant example of how Israel has ever shown the slightest inclination to act according to US interests?

  • Todd

    Why has Israel snubbed the U.S.? Because no servant is greater than its master. Israel (a la AIPAC) dictates to the U.S., not vice-versa. An episode such as that involving Biden is merely a charade keep up the appearance of there being some ideological difference between Israel and the U.S.

  • Peter

    Our support of Israel will continue so long as a significant proportion of American Christians hold the belief that a triumphant Israel will prepare the way for the Apocalypse and the second coming of Christ. Politicians know this is what many of their constituents believe, and that the reaction to any criticism of Israel could be a political suicide. What is the invasion of Iraq if not Texas oil interests backed by fundamentalist crusaders?

  • me

    It is very disappointing that this radio station consistently, and for many years, hosts speakers with very anti Israeli opinions who feel entitled to their facts as well. When are you going to put on people who actually understand and repesent the Israeli positions? Why the flood of anti Isreaeli operatives and palestinian “scholars”?

    This is why I never contribute to this station.

  • Ellen Dibble

    What about, “what is the invasion of Iraq if not an attempt by a disillusioned America to create a separate sphere of influence in a critical part of the world, a sphere less riven by Israel’s recalcitrance.”

  • Mary-Anne Wolf

    I have been thinking about what would happen if America did 2 things:

    1. Cut money we send to Israel to zero.
    2. Tell the United Nations that America plans to
    abstain from any future United Nations votes
    related to Israel until further notice.

    Some of my ancestors are Jewish,
    and I think a constant state of war
    is not in the interest of the people
    who live in Israel.

  • Dean

    I agree, Adam Wanzer.

    It is a shame that the hopeful dreams of a homeland held by hundreds of thousands of disenfranchised European Jews have been corrupted by the extremists like Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman and their ilk. It reminds me of the way that Osama bin Laden and his ilk have absconded with the normality of Muslim lives

    Extremism begets extremism..

  • http://none Ilze Choi

    I have been wondering why the Palestinian issue is such a central concern in the Arab world while the Kurds who also desire and deserve their their own state are not only ignored but opposed by Arabs.

  • Bernard horn

    Here is my translation of an article sent to me by the Israeli novelist A. B. Yehoshua:

    He who spares the rod hates his son

    In the Book of Proverbs, the positive book of optimistic wisdom in the Bible (as opposed to the Book Ecclesiastes, a book of hopelessness and reconciliation with death) there is a strong verse – and this is what it says: “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him” (13:24 ). A person who avoids criticizing or punishing his son for bad actions actually feels no authentic love for this son, because he prefers to look away from wrong behavior merely to preserve a peaceful home and avoid a confrontation that is liable to cause sorrow on both sides. But the person who truly loves his son is someone who does not avoid criticizing him when he strays from righteousness, ready to punish him and even to roil temporarily his relationship with him in order that the son–who is truly loved by him–will be convinced to return to the proper path.

    The present crisis that United States has initiated in her relations with the Israeli government on the subject of the building of a new Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem demonstrates, in my opinion, the true friendship the great United States feels for its little friend and dependent in the Middle East. The administration of Barack Obama, in a rare act of moral forcefulness, says to the Israelis:

    “Enough already with unnecessary construction in the East Jerusalem! Not only does it sabotage the important peace process for you and the Palestinians and the whole moderate Arab world, but it is also incredibly negative for you yourselves, according to the vision that you proclaim morning and evening to guard the Jewish and democratic character of your country. The way you continue to implant yourselves inside the Palestinian territory and establish new settlements among them, negates the possibility of separation and the determination of a border between Israel and Palestine.

    “And if the peace agreement does not come in the foreseeable future, you will need in the near future either to bestow Israeli nationality on all the Palestinians that you annex de facto to your state and allow this new nationality to diminish significantly the Jewish character of your state or to establish an apartheid regime with regard to the annexed Palestinians and destroy completely the democratic regime of Israel.

    “In any event, for your own good and, first and foremost, on behalf of future of Israel that is dear to us, and not only in support of the peace process and the interests the Americans in the Arab world, we are working with all our the power of our influence you to stop these negative acts that are adverse to your real interests, as you yourselves proclaim them to be.”
    This is a new hard line of United States, and if it is accompanied by clear political and economic pressure–and not only by the verbal statements– it will demonstrate to the entire world that America is a real friend to Israel, that it is concerned not only with the current security of the small Jewish state, but is also concerned about its future and its authentic vision of the future. True friendship is tested not by smooth words of flattery but rather by words of restraint and reprimand.

    In the annals of international relations in modern times a special chapter is yet to be written about the true essence of the marvelous relations between United States and Israel. The former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger defined them, first and foremost, as emotionally deep relations, in which the shared strategic interests represent only an external and inessential layer. Israel for the majority of the citizens of the United States, is not only a vehicle for absolution and solace for the terrible destruction of the Jews in World War II, a holocaust that the United States was late to understand and slow to respond to, in particular in the 1930’s when the Jewish refugees from Germany and Europe who fled in terror from the Nazis knocked in vain on the doors of the United States.

    Israel is an Idea for many Americans, particularly the many religious Christian Americans, for some, the realization of a religious vision. In a parallel way, Israelis turned their back on their historical roots in Europe and, in their new land, identified with the mythologies of the Christian and Hebrew Bibles and so gave their new cities the names of the cities and settlements of the Bible : Zion, Bethlehem, Hebron and so on.

    The democratic government of Israel is another important layer of the friendship with the United States. When Israel was founded in 1948 there were only around thirty truly democratic countries in the postwar world, and the ideological struggle in terms of superiority and morality between democratic and undemocratic regimes was very important to Americans. Consequently, as a democratic Israel that battled successfully for its survival, Israel was important and valuable evidence for the righteousness of the democratic vision that justified American intervention, the right or wrong, in the world.

    Therefore, instead of explaining to Americans importance of Israel as strategic military ally, it would be better if the leaders of Israel would listen to a friend who says to them with a new moral firmness, “If you stick first and foremost to your vision of an Israel that is democratic and Jewish instead of plotting needlessly for the few lands that remain in Palestinian hands, you will understand that our anger is an anger that comes from heartfelt love and friendship.”

  • Vincent Fogerty

    To “me”:
    The reason is simple. Because everywhere else leans towards the Israeli viewpoint. Its extremely important to have objective views and conversations; NOT, to believe that one side is inherently correct because they say a god finds them “better” or “more important” than another. Its ridiculous to presume a group of people can claim ownership of a place on Earth because of a personal belief.

  • David F.

    This event should be not be regarded as an intentional insult from the highest levels, but instead as an inevitable outcome from an Israel which ‘has no center’.

    This will be a good opportunity for our country to re-think our relationship with Israel. Israel has been at the top of yearly lists our government puts out of who is conducting industrial and governmental espionage.

    Israel always has a level of ‘plausible deniability’ when it gets caught with its hand in whatever cookie jar its currently caught in, in part because Israel as a state does not have a cohesive plan and will to solve its own problems.

    I think Israel is so chaotic in the depth and width of its own political spectrum that problems like this is are bound to happen. Until Israel can exercise discipline on itself, and stick to a single plan, they will continue to wallow in the mediocre ‘let it all happen’.

  • Arruro

    For heavens sake! Of course that Israel does not understand their national self-interest, which is peace and its national safety based on the recognition of the right of that nation to exist within the 1967 boundaries, but go tell that to the right-wing fanatics who celebrated the murder of Yitzhak Rabin. Israel self-interest mean to stop the territorial expansion based on the idea of a Greater Israel proclaimed by God. Unfortunately, Israeli public opinion is increasingly driven by fear and hubris. What is forgotten in this discussion, as usual, is that the Palestinian people have an inalienable to a viable nation of their own.

  • Zach Silvia (Providence)

    I cannot come to understand why we have the relationship we have with the state of Israel. Israel is a terror state without a dictator. I don’t care who you are, what your political ideology is, or your religion. Terror is terror, period. Displacing populations on an ethnic/religious basis is terrorism. We didn’t support it in WW2 and we shouldn’t now.

  • Mickey Coburn

    Sir: Have you read the comments above? Is it your intention to stir up prejudice because given the recent program — a “what if” topic re: “If Israel attacked Iran,” and today’s program asserting that American lives are at risk because of Israel– I find this programing rather terrifying in the possible results inflaming anti-semitism. It does not sound as though your program is exploring news; it sounds as though your program is attempting to rile up the listeners. I’ve been here before; it is all too familiar.

  • Dean

    Vincent has a good point:

    The Bible is not a land deed. Arabs and others lived on that land before Israel existed 3000 years ago, and Muslim Arabs lived on it for a far longer time after the expulsion of Jews by Rome than the total period of the old kingdom of Israel!

    Israel’s claim is the weakest of all claims, and it demands that we wind the clock back more than 2000 years! What would that look like in other lands??? Let’s wind it back only 200 years in the US of A, and redraw that map accordingly. How do you like that, America? Time to start packing….

  • Bruce

    The only mistake the “amateur” Obama administration made is not to realize that US foreign policy and especially our policy toward Israel has to run through Tel Aviv.

  • Polly

    Why haven’t you discussed the intentionalIsraeli attack on the helpless USS Liberty in 1967? Israel tried to sink our spy ship and even machine gunned life rafts so there would be no surviving witnesses. Israel has never acted to help the U.S., but has only harmed us.

  • Allison

    You cannot be the oppressed and the oppressor. Israel wants to be on both sides of this. They cannot be as an occupation force in Palestine. Wouldn’t you be angry and and try to fight back if people took your home and put you in an internment camp never to return. Palestinians have the RIGHT to return. Israel is doing a holocaust on Palestinians. If you take ANY side against Israel you are labeled as an anti-semite and that is truly not the case. It is a human rights atrocity just like in WWII, pay attention and wake up. We cannot continue in this country to blindly take one side only.

  • Sean

    all the lies that come out of the your station from the BBC to NPR are unbelievable … You just repeat the biases from the Al Dura libel to the Beach libel to the Gaza war Pallywood . Yesterday there were rocket sent into Israel ‘s Sdorot from Gaza, not one word from anyone . Where is the United Nation outrage ? Israel has a right to secure its border just like we secure ours . Enough with the apartheid lies …..Why don’t you report the truth .There won’t be peace until until the Arabs accept Israel for real

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbrIWyEhl8A

  • Kay

    It’s time to stop US aid to Israel….we have many better things to do with 3 billion dollars (or maybe it’s more) and that may be the ONLY way to get their attention!

  • Polly

    What about the $3-10 billions of dollars the U.S. donates to Israeli militarism every year?

  • Hannah

    I do not understand why American policy makers cannot understand how one sided support to Israel is hurting America. To one and half billion Muslims around the world America is a partner to oppression against Palestinians and that does not hold well for America.

  • John

    I’m sick of both sides in this eternal conflict. Give this so-called holy land to the Tibetans.

  • Dean

    Sean, those missiles are not the cause of the problem, they are the inevitable result!

    If someone had provided missiles to the interned Jews in Nazi occupied Poland, don’t you think they would have fired them at the Nazis?

    Gaza is a concentration camp. What Israel is doing is institutional terrorism.

  • Chris

    “I take the strongest exception to ed bailey’s entry. Please, sir, keep the extremism and hate speech out of this.
    Posted by Dean, on March 18th, 2010 at 10:29 AM”

    Seconded. Attn:Moderator- please remove this ugliness against both blacks & Jews above-

    Post by ed bailey, on March 18th, 2010 at 10:23 AM

  • Hannah

    I do not understand why American policy makers cannot understand how one sided support to Israel is hurting America. To one and half billion Muslims around the world America is a partner to oppression against Palestinians and that does not hold well for America. America should realize that the support they are providing Israel is not going to be in their self interest.

  • Ken

    Because a UN resolution would most certainly be voted down by us, I think that the rest of the world should step outside of the UN & as a group & individually recognize East Jesrusalem in it’s entirety as the capitol of Palestine & recognize the nation of Palestine based on the 1967 borders. The rest of the world should also impose their own sanctions against Israel until they leave the occupied lands. Israel is in violation of International Law with every settlement in the occupied territories.

  • Chris

    “I take the strongest exception to ed bailey’s entry. Please, sir, keep the extremism and hate speech out of this.
    Posted by Dean, on March 18th, 2010 at 10:29 AM”

    Seconded.

    Attn:Moderator- please remove this ugliness against both blacks & Jews above-

    Post by ed bailey, on March 18th, 2010 at 10:23 AM

  • Greg

    WOW. Near unanimous support for removing this thorn in our side, despite the supposed Biblical significance. However if I should take the ongoing behavior of our government as a guide, I’m not expecting anything different.

  • Maureen

    The caller who talked about Rachel Corrie must not know that she was a member of the ISM a radical left organization with an agenda . She put herself in harms way interfering in a war half way across the world …who knows what really happened? She was put in harms way by the Arabs and this would have been in their benefit since they adore martyrs. She was not has innocent has she looks . Here is a picture of her burning an American flag.

    http://rjjago.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/rachel-corrie-flag-burner1.jpg

  • http://www.gignouxphotos.com Alan

    In the long run, the United States is doing Israel a favour. If the West bank settlements keep expanding while the Palestinian population doubles (forcasted to do so in the next twenty years), there will be no possibility for a two state solution, only an apartheid state condemmed by the world and sure to go the way of South Africa where the Israeli’s will become, “Palestinian Jews” as they were pre-1948.

    Time is not on Israel’s side and nor is transfer, sadly Rabin was too wise and undercut by the extremist elements, the future is looking bleak.

  • Arturo

    Birbil,

    I agree. AIPAC should behaves as a foreign lobby, therefore, it should be considered as such.

  • John

    I don’t support censorship. Ed Bailey’s moronic and bigoted post should be left up and criticized.

  • Arturo

    Maureen,

    Rachel Corrie was murdered by an oppressive regime when she was trying to save the homes of oppressed people from destruction.

  • justine

    The Miracle is that with all the attacks from the 22 + muslims dictatorships trying to destroy Israel. Its still a democratic country .

  • Dean

    Not really, justine.

    It is an ethnic democracy, not a true democracy. You don’t move all other ethnic groups out by force, then hold elections in a real democracy! That is the history of Israel. Even this past election cycle saw the banning of Arab parties. That is not the kind of democracy the U.S. should support.

  • maureen
  • Dean

    maureen, the U.S. did the same thing with Native Americans! Ever hear of the Carlisle School? OK, the beatings were limited, but the concept was the same: take the kids, raise them as white Christian kids, prevent them from speaking their own languages, etc.

  • Jason

    Dean,
    “Institutional terrorism” really? The Nazi’s invaded Poland. The Nazi’s did not give Poland to the Jews. Gaza was painfully offered to the Palestinians as a peace offering and in return it just brought the danger closer to the civilians in the south to cities such as Sderot who have suffered for years under Qassam missile attacks from Gaza. If Toronto were lobbing missiles at Buffalo, NY do you think there would be just cause to shut that down? Especially if they were firing from within civilian areas?

    Israeli leadership does not operate under a mandate to wipe people with other ideas and beliefs “off the map” like that of the leadership of countries such as Iran whose proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, live a stones throw from Israel.

  • Arturo

    Maureen,

    Nothing justifies the murder of Rachie Corrie. She died oppossing violence and talking truth to power. Rachel Corrie is a true forgotten hero of non-violence. Bless her heart!

  • Sean

    dean

    The Israelis left gaza and in return got bombarded by misiles. No matter what you say it doesn’t make is so. According they have no right to protect themselves . Gaza is NOT a concentration camp. Don’t lie.

  • Maureen

    Arturo this is what I call oppressive :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us4jJ650vi8&feature=related

  • Maureen

    This what I call oppression by hamas :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWprs_t3rV0

  • Dean

    Nobody here is trying to say that there is no unpleasantness on the Arab side of things, or that there is no extremism in the Muslim world. Quite the contrary.

    But the complex history of the Middle East over the last thousand years is one of very painful losses, poverty, and oppression, largely perpetrated by western Christian societies when it wasn’t by Ottoman Turks. Memories there are long, far longer than the entire paltry history of the United States.

    How unwise it is of the US to inherit the role of crusader oppressor by empowering foreign Jews to force out native Arabs, then supporting their unlawful and cruel behavior year after year after year.

    That runs entirely counter to any claim the US trumpets of standing for humanity, democracy, and rule of law. That hypocrisy has cost the US dearly in the Middle East and the entire Muslim world, and it will continue to do so until we begin to hold Israel to the standards that we demand of other nations.

  • Hannah

    AIPAC is the real SUPER-POWER! Money is the name of the game.

  • http://www.gignouxphotos.com Alan

    ah Sean, according the British ambassador, “Gaza is the largest open air prison in the world” initially, what always is omitted, who broke the ceasefire with Hamas, who when they disengaged from gaza did not allow medicines, food, building materials exit stamps into the open air prison.

    The january 2009 war in gaza has been called the first credit crunch war as Kadima needed to get the israeli public’s mind off the problems that Bank Leumi and Hapolim were having due to exposure to the US sub prime mortgage fiasco, also, tpzi Livini needed to look like she was as tough as the boys.

  • Arturo

    I am not speaking for Hamas, but the memory of the victims of the Shoah should not be used for justifying the human right abuses of today. When Justice Richard Goldstone compared Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto he was not exagerating.

  • Hannah

    I second Dean… you get the picture.

  • Dean

    Jason and Sean:

    Again, and it should be obvious, Israelis are the invaders, the foreigners, not the Muslim Arabs who lived there for well over a thousand years!

  • Chris

    Palestinian jews who had been forced to convert to Islam over centuries :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNHj0xu1zvg

  • Rafi

    who continues the conflict? watch the “Hotages of hatred” video :

    http://video.google.de/videoplay?docid=-3936205950313759056#

  • Dean

    Chris, interesting film!

    Of course there is mixed heredity of people in the crossroads of the ancient world.
    Of course there is shared language, genetics, and culture.
    Of course there is regional and ethnic variation and blending in the practice of descendent religions.
    Of course Islam sprang from Judaism.
    Judaism arose 2500-3000 years ago from the same larger group of desert people who later gave rise to Islam.

    That makes even more heinous the foreign invasion of Palestine by Zionist Europeans and the resulting dispossession and cruelty toward the native population. Instead of familial respect, the Palestinians got oppression. And the US is its godfather.

  • achit

    Tom,
    I’m surprised no one in the panel or audiences has raised this point. Why is Isreal-Palestine an overriding issue for peace in middle east at all? Why?
    Why a conflict which is thousand miles away is relevent for someone one in Riyadh or Iran or Islamabad?
    The only asnwer to this question is Islam. A beliver to Islam leaves all identities behind. He/she who accepts Islam is no longer a Arab or American or pakistani or Russian or Indian. he/she is just and only a muslim. With this attitude any conflict between muslims and non-muslims be they are Jews, Christians, Hindus or BUddhists will always be a rally point for violance and terror for muslims.
    Today it is Isreal, tomorrow peace in middle-east might be tied to Kashmir or Chechanya!!
    How long and how often will America ask the other (non-muslim) to cower or back down?

    Thanks
    Achit

  • kassandra

    Maureen, The ISM, the International Solidarity Movement, is hardly a radical group. It is a group of international volunteers that live in Occupied Palestine and try to protect the Palestinians there from the Jewish colonists. They escort children to school, they accompany farmers to work their fields — they are witnesses to the Stalinist tactics of Israel. Rachel Corrie was murdered by the State of Israel trying to protect the home of a Palestinian doctor from demolition by the self-declared “only democracy in the Middle East.” She will always be remembered.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    who cares about Israel. That nation can declare WW3 with the Arab Nations can still WIN THE WAR.

    Israeli can take of themselves. Because they can take care of themselves.

    What we need Israel is to HELP THE 75 PERCENT OF Middle class Americans who are financial Burden because of the GREEDY Banks.

    Yes Apply for a refinance while having 2 jobs and the bank will not approve the refinancing because YOU HAVE 2 JOBS. what one earth is that means?

    Anyone heard of M&T Bank!!!

  • Dean

    Achit,

    I agree with your notion that Muslims lately, especially in the media age, have come to associate any conflict in the Muslim world with all of the Muslim world.

    People who have lost much and perceive themselves to be oppressed often use whatever rallying cry they can share in whatever conflict they are embroiled in. Often, that takes the form of religious identity, since political or geographic identity may have been lost in the conflict. Then, that religious fervor can whip up the other populations who share that identity, yet who may have little in common with the claimant, and may even have been in conflict recently with them.

    This resembles rather closely the fervor that united perpetually warring European Christian kingdoms in the early years of the last millennium, and created the religious violence and terror of the Crusades.

    Indeed, the memory of those old horrors mixes with the more recent events of the painful interactions between the Islamic world and the Christian, the feelings that Muslims have that the West controls their lives and perpetuates their poverty for the sole benefit of the West, and creates a sort of third generation religious imperialist period.

    Like waves in the sea, the Islamic world has taken over former Christian empires, then the Christians have retaliated en masse in spite of their internecine differences, then it reverses again. We are now in a wave of Islamic fervor. It will eventually reverse yet again, I fear, once tables have turned again.

    Thus it is not fair to blame Islam for the same ills that have led to similar epochs of Christian violence and injustice, among the myriad other forms of ethnic and religious cruelty with which history is so replete.

    It is better to seek a remedy to these repeating identity wars, and come to the realization that all forms of international and interethnic violence and oppression are ultimately unprofitable and morally intolerable.

  • Ginna

    Is this Trues?NEW Reports are saying that Welfare state of Israel Israel is the BIGGEST Liablity to America?and that Israel not interested in ‘peace’ as they have more land to grap..in the new Articles recently published in The E.U BY Mike Schurre

  • TSOL

    Why not kick EVERYONE out of that area and turn it into sacred ground for VISITING ONLY. This part of the world has been the center of turmoil forever. Solve the problem once and for all – kick everyone out.

  • reason

    Let’s get the facts straight. In 1947 the UN voted on and approved the Partition Resolution that divided mandatory Palestine into 2 countries. The Arabs rejected the partition and went to war. Why? Because they just could not accept the idea of a Jewish state. Allowing the basic right of self determination to the Jews? Ridiculous.

    And this where we are at still. Most Arabs do not accept a Jewish state. How do they hide it? By insisting on the Right of Return, which means 7 millions Arab get to go back to Israel IN the 67 borders.

    Many of the supporters of the Palestinians in the US and Europe are just closet antisemites who want to see the end of Israel as a Jewish state. When Israel left Gaza, it got only rockets. Why would the situation be different if Israel left the West Bank?

    As for what Israel has done for the US, it has saved the US trillions of dollars by thwarting Arab Nationalism as preached by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Imagine the whole Arab world under one dictator and firmly in the Soviet camp. The US would have to go to a war on the whole Arab world to reverse that situation. Instead, by winning in 67, Israel put an end to such possibilities.

  • jonah

    Could anyone really believe that the spinners that government radio has on its show were doing anything other than trying to put as positive a spin as possible on the Isreali actions? Even when faced with the obvious attempts by Isreal to once again destroy any hopes of any resolution, it attempts to portray the Isreali government as interested in peace and an honest settlement. Netenyahu has stated over and over that he wants as much of the west bank as he can get and that he is not interested in a real, independant Palistinean state. All the actions of the Isreali government are in service of that position and always have been. And government radio is unwilling to either call them on it in having any guests who woulod present a different point of view.

    That is I would not give any money to it.

  • Ed

    The US needs to stop subsidizing Israel. If they can’t get along with the Palestinians, that’s there problem. It’s simply pointless to get involved with their disastrous policies.

    Israel’s ultimately doomed anyway. They’re going to be a few outposts of Jewish people surrounded by Arabs they hate and who hate them.

  • Dean

    reason,

    your history is right as regards the Cold War, which was our original reason for creating Israel. The Cold War is over.

    As far as not accepting a Jewish State, however, why should they? Most Israelis in 1947 were not natives to that land, and were a small minority. Check the population figures in Palestine from the 1890s through WWII, and you will see that the nation of Israel is a nation of foreigners.

    Would the US obey a UN mandate that Mexicans now get autonomy in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and California? Would Americans accept being forced out of their homes by the newcomer Mexican nation? I would argue that Mexico has a far better claim to that area than Israel has to Palestine.

    And knock off that anti-semitism polemic. Israel is not equivalent to Judaism, nor are all Jews Israeli, or supporters of Israel. Some of the posters here are Jews against our support for Israel and against Israel’s oppressive anti-arabism. Don’t forget that Arabs are semites, too.

    Again, what we are talking about is not some unfortunate sliver of history that made Israel possible, we are talking about the painful reality of the present day in a broader context of middle eastern history and US policy ethics.

  • cory

    I always dread Israel based topics on this show. Many people who post on either side of the debate just seem plain nutty.

    The creation of a Jewish state in its current location was, in hindsight, a terrible idea. BUT… there it is! Can’t wish it away and hoping for it to be overrun doesn’t seem right either.

    I suggest a consistent stance. We’ve provided them with a mighty arsenal and they are obviously willing to defend themselves to the extreme. We should not act as their special protector. Let them find their own destiny. The hostile neighbors that surround them need a little perspective as well. There is plenty of barren desert over there for all of you. Stop killing Jews just because they are Jews.

    We need to worry more about what is happening at home, to the American people and less about the squabbles of others elsewhere.

  • Scott Trask

    A few obvious points:

    1) The so-called “special relationship” with Israel is clearly a strategic liability for the Americans, in every way. The benefits (military aid; diplomatic protection, etc.) flow in only one direction.

    2) Biden is wrong. It is precisely because there is no distance between the U.S. and Israeli governments that no progress has been made toward peace in the last thirty years.

    3) The two-state solution is going nowhere. Every president since Reagan has pushed it and failed. The Israelis are never going to uproot their settlements or withdraw their military bases. It is time to try a one-state solution. That means granting the Palestinians full political and civil rights. The land of Palestine belongs to ALL of its people (Jew as well as Arab).

  • Disgusted

    Blockades and illegal settlements are acts of war, and someone needs to respond in kind. Israel deserves military retaliation by the United States no less than Iraq did when it invaded Kuwait.

  • reason

    Dean,

    The Arabs should have accepted the partition because it was the compromise the international community came up with. The fact is, they are much worse of for not accepting it. And anyway, since when going to war and rejecting a UN resolution the right thing to do?

    The Arabs rejected the UN partition resolution, went to war and lost. What are they complaining about?

    Since antisemitism (which is just racial bias against Jews, that is what the word means) is not accepted anymore in nice society, closet antisemites bash Israel. Not all people who criticize Israel are antisemites, but many are.

    Israel has been the best ally the US could ever hope for. Unlike Europe, or Korea or Iraq or Afghanistan, the US has never needed to send troops to Israel. Israel has saved the US several military interventions in the middle east, for example, when Syria tried to take over Jordan following black September. Israeli intelligence has helped the US immensely as well as Israeli technology. It is just low how Americans that do not know history are now bashing Israel. You guys do not understand what an ally is.

  • reason

    I say to all you Americans with short memory and no sense of loyalty, would you prefer Israel with all its technological knowhow be an ally of China instead of the US? Do you think that will help US interests?

  • Maureen

    kassandra

    make up your mind . Is Israel left wing or right wing? I have the feeling to you it doesn’t matter Israel will be wrong , you and your like want to erase it from the map . as you say in your rallies “from the river to the sea” means the complete annihilation of Jews and Israel .Don’t make me laugh the ISM is not a radical organization . Anyone can google ISM.

  • Maureen

    reason , I second that!!!!!

  • Ed

    “would you prefer Israel with all its technological knowhow be an ally of China instead of the US?”

    Go right ahead. Let China have this headache. Love to see how they broker peace for Israel.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    Israelis are Racist too.
    Why because Filipinos who were born in Israel are not ALLOWED TO LIVE AND DIE in Israel.
    It’s not only the Palestinians are suffering but Filipinos are also suffering in Israel.
    How can the Jewish treat my fellow Filipinos like they are not Human Being because they are not Jews.
    Israel is for Jews only policy is racist.
    Now who is racist tell me?

    By the way, the soldiers who BULLDOZE those Palestinian houses are Arab and Christian soldiers working for Israel.

  • Tridant

    Unfortunately, this spectacle is not new, and it will be covered up and forgotten in a couple of weeks. For decades, we (the United States) have been the true enabler (financially, diplomatically, and militarily) behind the Zionist murderous colonial project, and now we are paying for it in terms of the lives of our soldiers.

    Israel: We’re confiscating yet more Palestinian land to build Jews-only settlements. (Jim Crow wasn’t really that bad. Apartheid is fine.)

    Obama: That isn’t helpful. (We are seen as your enabler and Gen. David Petraeus believes your action endangers our troops, please keep it down and don’t embarrass us.)

    Israel: So? What you gonna do about it, black boy?

    Obama: I’ll …um.. say so.

    Israel/AIPAC: How dare you even mention it, you anti-Semite! You do not want to openly declare your loyalty to the Zionist enterprise, subordinate US interests to Zionist thievery and greed, that’s fine. Our Israel-firsters and the many bought-and-paid-for members of Congress always come through; they will keep the money and political support flowing.

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    Yes you can bad mouth the Jews because they do the same with other race like Palestinians and Filipinos born is Israel.

    I am sick and tired of these NEVERENDING VIOLENCE in the middle east I was only 15 when I saw the first Intifadah and until now they are still killing innocent children. 1 Jewish killed equals to 20 Palestinian are killed. THAT’S A FACT

  • achit

    Dean,
    Thanks for your kind remarks.
    I understand that history is full of examples when people went to war because they were of different color, religion, tribe, ethnicity etc.
    However I do not agree with your following point
    “Indeed, the memory of those old horrors mixes with the more recent events of the painful interactions between the Islamic world and the Christian, the feelings that Muslims have that the West controls their lives and perpetuates their poverty for the sole benefit of the West, and creates a sort of third generation religious imperialist period.”.
    I believe rather opposite is true.Crusades are remembered by muslim masses not for Christian attacks but by rather deeds of likes of Saladin to glamarize the supriorty of Islam and a call to return of glory days. Resentment of west or any other non-Islamic entity (Jews, Hindu or India) is not due to their power rather it is due to non-power of muslims to rule over them.
    Islam asks a non-believer (Kafir-technically only Christians and Jews) to be Dhimmi i.e. pay for their protection and be 3rd class citizen. Kafirs cannot rule over muslims as any muslim just by being a muslim is superior to them.
    During 1920s there was Khilafat (Caliph is Khalifa in urdu)movement in Colonial India. Movement was to restore the Ottoman Empire. Two Ali brother were the leaders of this movement. Mohandas KAramchand Gandhi otherwise known as Mahatama Gandhi was a supporter. And this is was one of the brother said about Mahatama.
    “However pure Mr. Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to me from the point of view of my religion inferior to any Mussalman, even though he be without character… Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mahatma Gandhi.” In my view Gandhi was no mahatma but was he worse than a fallen Mussalman?
    In your last paragraph you wrote
    “It is better to seek a remedy to these repeating identity wars, and come to the realization that all forms of international and interethnic violence and oppression are ultimately unprofitable and morally intolerable.”
    Their basis of identity is Islam, superiorty of Islam and their past glory of Islam. Their basis of morality is Islam. How do you propose we can remeady that?

  • achit

    Akilez,
    Isreal is not alone in this practice. Saudi Arabia does not allow that either.
    “Children of foreigners born in Saudi Arabia don’t have rights of local citizenship and automatically assume the nationality of the parents. If one of the parents is a national of Saudi Arabia, the child will usually be granted local nationality and may later become a national of Saudi Arabia and obtain a local passport. ”
    Why people don’t protest against them?

  • Maureen

    dean.

    Half of Israel is made up of Jews kicked out of Arab countries .One million of them refugees who never got compensation for their land and properties .No one seems to care about them .Why? could it be anti-semitism ? and No the word anti-Semitism is not used for Arabs . It was used for Jews who were persecuted .

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    I never heard of that Policy in Saudi Arabia while my stepfather was working there and I don’t think so becausse lots of Filipinos movie actors married Arabs.

    Filipinos will never want to live in Saudi Arabia.

    Why because Filipinos are Roman Catholics.

  • reason

    Ed,

    You know how China will broker peace for Israel? The same way they broker peace inside China. It will tell Israel’s enemies to shut up or else… It will not complain hypocritically at all that Israel uses “disproportionate measures”. It would tell Israel to go ahead and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from the West Bank and then veto any UN resolution against Israel. It is beneficial to have allies without moral qualms.

    Non democratic regimes have a much easier time pacifying people. Just compare how much better a job Saddam did than the US in keeping Iraq peaceful.

    But Israel is a democratic country, and it shares the US moral values. That is not a reason for Americans of you to take advantage of Israel with your cheap talk.

  • Dean

    reason, I just don’t agree with you.

    The Arab response to the creation of Israel should not have surprised anyone. Jews had always lived in Islamic Palestine, almost always in peace. It was only the land claims on Palestine, the Islamic Holy Land of Palestine, by westerners, that caused the trouble.

    Yet another invasion. Yet more promises of autonomy broken. Yet more dismissal of Arabs as irrelevant pests in their own lands.

    Whose understanding of history is lacking? History did not begin in 1947. And there are more than one side to history, more than one involved population.

    Furthermore, your reading of America’s need to be loyal to Israel is misguided. The only reason the US is even involved in the Middle East is oil, and Israel was one part of the West’s need to control all that happened in oil-rich mid-east countries, along with the Saud regime, British Mandate Iraq, and a puppet Shah in Iran, all ultimately very costly and damaging to US interests.

    It would have been much smarter to make friends of the Arabs, who had no proclivity to befriend the Soviets, but that was far too complicated. It would have been smarter to wean off of the need for mid-east oil, but that would not have made rich Americans richer, and their easy lives easier.

    Simply put, the imperialist chickens are coming home to roost. Only someone who looks at history through a peephole would miss that.

    And again, the introduction of anti-semitism is merely a misdirection attempt in any serious discussion of Middle East policy. And Arabs are semites.

  • robert

    Digusted !!!

    So when we have checkpoints at the airport that’s an act of war!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com akilez

    why don’t protest against them Because THE ARAB PEOPLE DONT BULLDOZE HOUSES WHEN I BABY IS INSIDE THE HOUSE SLEEPING.

    Watch Al Jazeera news we have a lot of Filipino reporterS workING for that news agency and they are Roman Catholics working for the Arab people.

    Do Israel allow Catholics or Arab to work for news agency? answer that.

  • Disgusted

    >>would you prefer Israel with all its technological knowhow be an ally of China instead of the US? Do you think that will help US interests?

    Yes, I would, and, yes, I do. Our alliance with Israel brings us nothing but trouble.

    >>So when we have checkpoints at the airport that’s an act of war!!!!!!!!!

    A checkpoint is not an act of war. Israel has BLOCKADED Gaza. That is not a checkpoint.

  • Rick

    akilez

    go say that to the Saudi Arabian who treat your poor fellow Filipino maids as slaves . Its well known they are beaten , raped , their passports taken away and not paid for their work ….Go tell that to the poor man from Thailand who was killed today by a rocket from Gaza !!!!

  • Dean

    Maureen,

    I didn’t say that the word anti-semitism is used for Arabs, merely that Arabs are semites, which is true. It would serve us all to remember that Arabs are not some insidious foreign plague in that part of the world, but the majority, and rightful owners of that land for 1400 years among others, including Jews, but not to anyone’s exclusion.

    The oppression of Jews is recognized, and hated by all moral people. I despise it.

    It has been a 1700-year specialty of Christians. Arabs, in contrast, have comparatively little historic responsibility for it. The last 60 years are not the history of the Arab-Jewish relationship.

  • Simon

    akilez
    Yes and the Arab media also says that Jews take the blood of innocent children to make Matza for Passover .Do you also believe that?

  • Dean

    Achit, I agree with you.

    All religion is dangerous when it places a moral superiority on one group over another, which the so-called “Three Great Religions” all do. That is when the identity wars get really bloody. But I can’t agree that Islam is any different from Christianity, or any other ethnic or religious identity of superiority. History is built upon the relics of such groups.

    “Their basis of identity is Islam, superiorty of Islam and their past glory of Islam. Their basis of morality is Islam. How do you propose we can remeady that?”

    We can appeal to the common humanity of everyone, and no more. We can hope to slow the momentum of history. In time, things will change in any case.

    However many of these current conflicts are not sprung from religious doctrine, but from political and economic causes, as always. When I examine the history of a religion itself, I see political origins. Identity politics in times of strife have created new nations and new religions alike, since time immemorial. Today is no different. Islam is no different.

    What we should not do is make the conflicts worse with rhetoric or militarism. Two wrongs do not make one right.

  • Maureen

    Dean

    Really ? They were not? how about the mufty of Jerusalem who had a pact with HITLER to exterminate all the jews from the middle east

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jacbJDDID4E

    AND THAT WAS BEFORE 1967!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Maureen

    Dean
    by the way the mufti of jerusalem was arafat’s uncle

  • Dean

    Maureen,

    Again, the history of Muslims and Jews did not start in the last 60 years. OK, 65 years. The history of Zionism is just a bit older than that, and it is Zionism that eventually changed that very old relationship in Palestine.

    Perspective, please.

  • Dean

    …And I am no fan of Arafat, or any other violent extremist. But the Mufti and Arafat are symptoms, not causes.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Someone was saying that dictatorships are more peaceful than democracies, giving as an example Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Wasn’t it under his leadership that Iraq and Iran fought an extremely bloody war? I forget who was the aggressor, but other dictatorships, when the going gets rough, direct the anger of the stressed-out populace direct that anger outwards. An example would be Hitler’s Germany. There some of the anger was directed against the Jews as well. Deutschland uber alles. They sounded the clarion call to victory, stealing triumph from the teeth of defeat. As someone said, there is a high cost, but dictatorships are much easier to mobilize like that than a democracy.

  • http://www.gignouxphotos.com alan

    I like to hear the answer to this one, how and why did Hamas get started, it is an interesting one!

  • Nima

    An episode of “Intelligence Squared”. It is in parallel to today’s program:
    http://intelligencesquaredus.org/index.php/past-debates/the-us-should-step-back-from-its-special-relationship-with-israel/

  • http://open.salon marygrav

    An reliable ally understands that when WE are fighting two wars that they should be cool. What seems to be happening here is that Israel wants to replace the Obama Democratic Administration with a Neoconservative Republican just as it has replaced Hamas with Fatah, when it was Hamas that won the election.

    The insult to the US is that Netanyhu thinks that he can get away with it. The Neocons, American Zionists, have told Netanyhu that 8 out of 10 Americans are with Israel regardless of its behavior. But he must realize that our soldiers are dying because the Islamist have told their Jihadis that Israel controls the US and all its foreign policy.

  • Michael

    A little history for those saying one both has to be Zionist and Jewish and both based on religion.

    Zionism and religion
    - Zionism is not a religious movement, and Israel is not the state of the Jewish religion. The Jewish religious establishment was originally opposed to Zionism, and then tried to take over or direct the movement. There are religious Zionists, who have their own motivations for adhering to Zionism, and Zionism was certainly meant to include religious Jews, but Herzl, Weizmann and other Zionist leaders were not observant Jews and approached Zionism as a national problem, not as a religious issue,

    As well, the start of troubles between arabs and jews,
    check out Social Zionist aroun 1904-

    The new immigrants arrived with the ideals of socialist Zionism, but reality was not favorable to implementing those ideas. The Zionist movement attempted to find them work. but the new immigrants , who had no training in agriculture and poor physical stamina, were unable to compete with Arab peasants. Arabs certainly would not hire Jewish workers, who could not work well and could not speak Arabic. Arab labor was also preferred by the plantation and vineyard owners of the first Aliya. Arabs were experienced and hard workers, and were able to work for much lower wages because they were often members of an extended family that made its main income from sharecropping. The plantation owners had also developed a superior colonialist mentality which suited the hiring of “natives,” and clashed with the egalitarian ideas and social demands of the newly arrived socialists.

    The socialist Zionist movements tried to force plantation owners to grant higher wages, and also began to insist that plantation owners hire only Jewish workers. This aspect of “conquest of labor” was controversial within the socialist-Zionist movements because it engendered lack of solidarity with the Arab working class and was discriminatory.

    http://www.mideastweb.org/zionism.htm

    It’s worth a read

  • MIchael

    marygrav,

    it will just get worst, Israel will keep going to the far right as the new settlers keep coming to Israel and than going to the West Bank to live and build.

    As these people are far more extreme and will vote for Radicals Like the F.M. Lieberman’s party, as well the Orthodox Jews are supposed to greatly increase in # (not as much as the pallies or Arab Israeli’s) but far greater than non orthodox Jews, the F.M. party are working on laws that prevent Arabs from holding foreign office or any government offices,there many court case within Israel about its government discrimination against its Arab Israeli population .

  • Marsha Scribner

    Does Israel have weapons of mass destruction? Yes! Does Palestine have WMD? No! Does the USA subsidized the Palestian’s weapon cashe? No! Does the USA subsidize Israel’s weapons cashe? Yes! I do believe I heard today on NPR that Israel’s GNP is subsidized by the USA at 45%. Please comment on the parity in all of this! What are we dealing with when a “pork fed” (no pun intended) country like Israel that’s “hell bent” on destroying a small fish such as Palestine (I mean literally wiping them off the face of the earth) feels justified in transplanting Eastern Orthodox Jews on their lands? Who has the history here and who says the “big bully on the block” should be able to get away with this travesty?

  • Disgusted

    On the other hand, why don’t all the Arab states pool their oil money and pay the Israelis to move elsewhere? I’m sure they will be just as happy to go as the Palestinians would be.

  • dave c

    We need to stay neutral and NOT back Israel.We CANNOT achieve peace in the mideast if we takes sides, especially if Israel isn’t playing nice.

  • Maureen

    Dean

    everything seems to be a symptom to yu. hamas are not extremists ? and Abu Abbas’s thesis was on holocaust denying

  • Sean

    Eli Cohen , what you don’t understand is that the Arab/Muslim world don’t want a successful Jewish state even minuscule in their mist . Since the creation of Islam Jews have been treated as second class citizen who could be abused as pleased . When it is written in their most sacred text that Jews are the sons of monkey and pigs and these people still live in the 7th century where honor killings are used on women . What can one do but be on the defensive and try to protect oneself until that culture evolves to moderation .

  • George

    Back to “On Point”… as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt clearly established in their thoroughly-documented study three years ago (“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”), Israel’s interests and America’s interests are NOT identical.

    Moreover, if the U.S. has been giving Israel 3 billion dollars (plus) in aid every year, year after year, then we should have some sway in Israel’s decisions, especially those that affect our security and our standing in the world.

    Despite these two basic facts, Israel feels it can do whatever it wants–vis-a-vis illegal settlements, the unfair treatment of Palestinians under occupation, etc.–no matter what the U.S. thinks (or anyone else, for that matter).

    Israel’s latest insult merely underscores its overweening sense of entitlement. We do not accept such mishegoss from other countries. Why do we accept it from Israel?

  • Sean

    Marsha Scriber

    You call the Arab states small fish ? I think you better take another look

  • Michael

    yes,

    Dean listen to Maureen, cause Israel has never had extremist on there end,like Menachem Begin a national hero? oops wait He blew up the King David Hotel in 1946 and killed 91 members of the British military and diplomatic staff and later elected as Israel first P.M. or

    Yitzhak Yizernitzky. He was one of the Jewish extremists who, between 1937 and 1939, killed more than 300 Arab civilians by machine-gunning passing buses and bombing open air restaurants and marketplaces. On one July day in 1938, they rolled an oil drum laden with explosives downhill into a bus stop in Haifa, killing 35 men, women and children and leaving others maimed and bleeding.

    U.S. finds this out and uses the information not to force Israel to do what it’s supposed too or face losing aid but to gave them more instead and used politically against Syria and Russia
    http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/1291/9112041.htm

    I say Abbas pretty dam moderate compare to these guys, if the U.S. stopped backing loan G.waived there or choose not to use there veto right regarded israel i’m pretty sure israel would behavior itself at least till it got the U.S. to protect them again.

    Remember folks even with in the U.S. we are facing cut backs, in schools, people are unemployed, people can’t afford going back to school, 3billion goes to isreal to build illegal settlements, there collages, and housing, i’d be curious to see if we subsidize their health care as well.

  • ny_girl

    I came late to this discussion but thank you for having it. We need to STOP supporting Israel and they must be held accountable for their treatment of the Palestinians.

    BTW: Good point David!

    No Israel does not hold all the cards, the US needs to pull funding NOW

  • ny_girl

    Thanks Laura for mentioning Rachel Corrie!! She was murdered in cold blood.

    Stop cutting off people that don’t agree with you Tom.

  • Paul

    Wow, what a great show. Breathtaking! Thanks.

  • Michael

    George,

    totally agree, and it is getting harder and harder for them to cover it up, even with the one-sided spin israel gets here mostly in the U.S. News is become more and more impotent, hard to blame fatah on not working towards peace when, It’s plain to the word Israel has done the below to prevent it.

    1. taking a temple site of prayer for both jews and muslims as there own. only allowing 50+ muslims to enter.
    2. announcing new settlements on V.P. visit
    3. See no problem in doing the above.
    4. as well as(still not reported except french news) building another 112 houses in the West Bank assumed (at least what the P.M. said) frozen.

    Next is the white wash as if it never happen or its not important, and since we are in the Red as it to National debt that 3 plus billion a year is to the only democracy in the middle-east yet disallows Jews from getting married to non-jews.

    check out ifamericanonlyknew or democracy now

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDHNNtyjfts&feature=related

  • reason

    Dean,
    Let me use your language. Zionism was a symptom of European antisemitism and the fact that no Western country would accept Jewish refugees. The Jews had to go somewhere or die. They went to Palestine. The Arabs started the whole mess with the Hebron Massacre of 1929:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1929_Hebron_massacre

    They murdered and ethnically cleansed the Jews living there for centuries.

    If there is imperialism involved, it is not by the Jews. The Jews were victims of European imperialism, not beneficiaries.

  • Greg

    Bravo Mr. Ashbrook for taking on this important issue and giving both sides of the question a fair hearing. Your listener comments suggest there are many out there who rightly question our unblinking support of Israel. Keep up the good work.

  • Ansel
  • Ed

    “But Israel is a democratic country, and it shares the US moral values. That is not a reason for Americans of you to take advantage of Israel with your cheap talk.”

    If you shared my moral values you wouldn’t be an apartheid country. Sorry, ‘reason’. Nice try.

    If Israel was smart it’d stop spitting in the face of the one country that does ever stick up for it.

    Being a good ally is a two way street my friend. You can’t tell me Israel’s going to defect to China then when I say go ahead tell me that you really want to be on America’s side.

    Here is a simple first step for Israel – dismantle the settlements. No country in the world can defend them, including Israel itself.

    If you want to commit suicide, go ahead. Don’t ask me to cry for you though.

  • joshua

    “At the end of the day, ask yourself, who are you going to invite into your home for dinner?”

    A Palestinian any day. The Israelis are extremely violent people-their politics and view of the world repulse me. I cannot break bread with them. In fact the people of Israel are terrorists. Palestinians are victims of cruel, malicious, murder and mayhem.

    I have no interest in the region. I have no bias. I hate all religions. I say it how I see it. I’m sick of the brainwashing media. Look up hypocrisy in the dictionary and you will see Israel, and Zionist.

  • joshua

    “no Western country would accept Jewish refugees.”

    this is misleading. America is full of refugees, as well as Canada. Jews live harmoniously in all western countries today. Even China accepted the Jewish refugees. Israel is an abomination! It’s equivalent to freeing US slaves and then saying we still hate these people–lets get rid of them, we don’t want to live among them–and then forge a country out of possessed lands like Liberia. A recipe for tyranny and disaster. Come on, Israel has no credible legitimacy and never has. Come back to America, come back to Europe. We welcome you. Stop the violence! Stop your hate! You have become what tried to destroy you. You have assumed the identity of your oppressor. Its common among victims of terrible crimes. Even the African slaves in America adopted white Christianity, the religion that still legitimizes white superiority. Let go. Learn to forgive. find yourself again. Renounce terrorism and come back to humanity. Put all this hate behind you. The Nazi criminals were punished for their crimes. Will you be?

  • joshua

    i think its peculiar and convenient that for decades before WWII, Zionists were pushing for an Israeli nation and then we got the war and holocaust and the Zionists got their wish. many corporations on all sides were involved in WWII–their was no loyalty to the US. There was a huge push for fascism in the US–calling it the ‘wave of the future’ and elected officials were saying democracy was dead. Banks and big business (such as with the Bush crime family) supported Nazi industries during the war. Henry Ford was given the highest honor by Hitler and pinned with a medal. Smells like fish.

    The holocaust was an evil and terrible thing, as was the American genocide of indigenous peoples in the new world. Much of the American genocide had to do with corporations, industry, landowners–economy–and aristocratic presidencies like Pike. It makes you wonder who funded this evil in Europe? And who has lingering ties to this day? just asking questions here…don’t get all uppity.

  • joshua

    The wave of the future is with us today. The WTO is fascist. corporations are fascist by nature. And America is fascist all but in name.

    The leviathan.

  • Michael

    Ellen asked a few months back about what its like there,this is from the past few days after Israel took a temple site sacred to both jews and muslims.

    Sleepless Gaza Jerusalem
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJPEAf7OHfE

    if one didn’t know this was isarel one would think it was in iran(in which Mrs Clinton would say a democratic government should never do and go on about human rights abuses..

  • jeffe

    Wow, so much hate and bile. Some of you people need to get therapy.

    This subject brings out all the kooks and the Monday morning quarterbacks.

    While I don’t support the extremist in Israel I think the country has a right to exist. You want to get into Middle East border games just look at Jordan and Iraq. Neither was a country until after WW1.

    I will say this, I think the US needs to cut aid to Israel, the cold war is over and the aid level is a left over from that period.

    By the way, I don’t see to many people here criticizing Iran which has a huge destabilizing effect in the region.
    Not to mention that they regularly hang gays and women.

    Most Arab countries are fearful of the Iranian government and their rise on power in the region.

    That said it would be disastrous if Israel attacked Iran, this would be a very self destructive act.

  • Sean

    It seems all the crazies full of hate demonizing Israel are listening to this show . A mixture of far right and far left . It reminds me of the pre world war 2 propaganda against the jews . I am surprised that the ON point producers don’t have a fair conversation to repute all the lies from Apartheid to the Al Dura lies. Are jews again going through another wave of dicrimination and everyone is politically correct !!!! WBUR if you are not part of the solution , you are part of the problem and history will remember you .

  • serenading truth

    Being sarcastic here….

    We should love Israel. They take organs from Palestinian prisoners and sell them to us to anybody who is waiting in the queue for organs and Israel saves American Lives.

    What a lovely country, ain’t it! God Bless Israel

  • lyn

    Israel’s founders committed a bunch of mass murders and rapes, deliberately expelled hundreds of thousands of people from their homes at gunpoint, demolished 400+ villages and virtually emptied towns and neighborhood of the native people, and confiscated the homes, property, fruit trees, businesses, land, furniture, loot the formerly Arab towns of jewelry, houseware, money, silverware, tools, equipment, you name it. And then complain about how they “live in a tough neighborhood”.

    The bibile isn’t history, either. Most of the peoples who lived in what’s now Israel/Palestine 2000 years ago when there was a Jewish kingdom there eventually converted to Islam or Christianity. Most Jews originate from elsewhere in the world, when Zionists say the Jews are “returning” to the land of Israel it’s basically a myth.

  • Paul

    I agree with Dean’s post “I take the strongest exception to ed bailey’s entry. Please, sir, keep the extremism and hate speech out of this.”

    Hate talk plays into the hands of those who would claim all critics of Israel are bigots. Sad that such posts sprout from a wonderful level-headed radio program. Yes there is pent up demand, it had been taboo to criticize successive right-wing Israeli governments, but c’mon people. The taboo is revived when criticism becomes conflated with hate talk.

  • Gary

    You know a Tiger by its stripes.

    Israel’s history of using assassination of political leaders to achieve their goal of “national security”, makes me wonder if the US were to discontinue its billions of “aid”, then what US political leadears would they target?

  • Michael

    “Wow, so much hate and bile. Some of you people need to get therapy.

    This subject brings out all the kooks and the Monday morning quarterbacks.

    While I don’t support the extremist in Israel I think the country has a right to exist.”

    Says the one throwing out insults, many of the posters(rightfully so) wish for israel to get off of the U.S. governments tit, nothing Kookie in wishing for Israel(you know the only democracy in the middle east) to stop treating the pallies like animals, as for existing I see more critics have no problem of it existing as a secular state, equal rights to all(like democracy are supposed to be), but claiming it can only exist as a Jewish state based solely on religion is wrong and green light abuses of its minorities to make sure such religious groups to proposer.

    someone set me the below and i think it still rings truth
    “Claims of a Jewish right to self-determination are assertions of utmost violent and racist doctrine: self-determination is a right of “”populations””, not ethnicities or religions: any claim to the contrary seeks to erase all human rights that stand in the way of a group’s demand for supremacy, the ‘conflict’ to be settled by violence”

    We currently have in the U.S. this same vile from Christians groups here claiming the U.S. is only a white Christian nation, and needs to keep the majority white and Christian

    Comparing Israel to Iran is a straw man argument since we all know full well that if iran has done a fraction of what israel as done they be even more sanctions, and possibly war. As for the Gay thing we beat and killed gays in the U.S. up to about 50years ago along with Blacks.

  • Michael

    To further show the why the iran vs israel is a straw man argument, remember the women protester, who was killed, it was blasted all over U.S. news, and our Political officials gave there 2 cents about it and about human rights, Yet nothing of the sort of Palestinian man or women being killed, or even a U.S. citizen being bulldozed. Not to mention U.S want Iran to be a secular country and pushing for it yet not for Israel, when was the last time you heard a U.S. official on the israeli courts and detention of protesters? slim to none.

    Spare the what about iran cause you know full well the that iran were to do what israel does we try to nail them. To look the other way as we fund Israel to try and do what Americans in the U.S. did to the Indians is disgusting in its utmost.

  • jeffe

    Michael first calling out hate and bile is not an insult.

    Second I also said that the US should stop giving aid or at least cut it back, a lot.

    Third I said I do not support the right wing ideology of the Israeli government.

    Fourth I was not comparing Iran to Israel. This comment shows me that you are not capable of even having a discussion on the Middle East. You want to to demonize Israel, and you’re comments here as always support you’re agenda.

    Iran is part of this story. My comment was pointing out how people like yourself, tend to be extremely hateful of Israel and use this forum to express these views.
    You conveniently leave out the fact that I am very critical of Israel because it simply does not fit your agenda. Which it seems to me is the complete destruction of Israel. One thing you forgot to mention is the internal conflicts within Israel which might give you what you want, the destruction of this state.

    Michael you then go on to use other of subject topics to try and back your argument that my comment is of topic.
    Are you kidding?

    You’re just throwing mud on the wall and hope something sticks.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Odd that I agree with most of what jeffe posts and most of what Michael posts. I must be a genius to hold two opposing views at the same time. In any case, I think the shadow of the Cold War, as I think jeffe was referring to, is no longer part of the equation. Where our policy towards Israel might have been actually a matter of our own survival strategy, but conveniently could garner a lot of support for religious reasons (of certain Christians and of certain Jews), now the arrangement of powers and threats and needs has shifted, but the religious reasons are more constant.

  • Chris

    I think it might be time to finally cut our financial/political ties to Israel. The citizens of the United States do not experience a net benefit from our support of this increasingly belligerent country. Our resources would be better spent elsewhere.

  • Michael

    In response to jeffe,

    • Michael first calling out hate and bile is not an insult. But claiming other are saying they wish for not Israel not to exist is, if it did not have a two tier system of jews on top and non jew on bottom very few with see a problem with it as well if it was secular
    “Second I also said that the US should stop giving aid or at least cut it back, a lot.” Never said you did
    “Third I said I do not support the right wing ideology of the Israeli government.” I quoted you in my response saying such so who actually being disingenuous?
    “Fourth I was not comparing Iran to Israel. This comment shows me that you are not capable of even having a discussion on the Middle East. You want to to demonize Israel, and you’re comments here as always support you’re agenda. “
    Yes you did
    “By the way, I don’t see to many people here criticizing Iran which has a huge destabilizing effect in the region.
    Not to mention that they regularly hang gays and women”
    “Iran is part of this story. My comment was pointing out how people like yourself, tend to be extremely hateful of Israel and use this forum to express these views.”
    As people like you used this forum to express lip service to Israel’s illegal, inhumane actions to express your views. Hateful is calling every gazan and west bank killed terrorist( you don’t) but many others on this forum and speakers on the show do.

    “You conveniently leave out the fact that I am very critical of Israel because it simply does not fit your agenda.”
    I did not I quoted from you

    “While I don’t support the extremist in Israel I think the country has a right to exist”
    “Which it seems to me is the complete destruction of Israel. “
    It does not, I stated I wish for a secular Israel, not religious, hardly advocating the complete destruction of it, like you try to present, in which is a insult and a attack
    “One thing you forgot to mention is the internal conflicts within Israel which might give you what you want, the destruction of this state. “
    Again I do not advocate the destruction of Israel like you claim only to stop treating pally’s like animals, and stop taking land, how hard is that for you to understand?
    “Michael you then go on to use other of subject topics to try and back your argument that my comment is of topic.
    Are you kidding? “
    Pretty sure if you read your history, what Americans did to the Indians is exactly what the Israelis’ are doing to Palestini populations.
    “You’re just throwing mud on the wall and hope something sticks”
    Hardly I’m just posting what our U.S media omits for reporting, which btw Israel press reports, bbc reports, French press reports.

    My comment was not fully directed to you before so if I offended you my apology, but to say I call for the destruction of Israel is way overboard on your end.

  • jeffe

    Pretty sure if you read your history, what Americans did to the Indians is exactly what the Israelis’ are doing to Palestini populations.

    This is an over simplification of two very different periods and events. I have and do read history and to make a sweeping broad statement about a very long and complex history, the indigenous tribes of the Americas, is not a good example.

    The Palestinians are not being massacred by the Israeli military. It’s true that the Israeli military uses overwhelming force but I do not think that the manifest destiny is the object of all Israelis. That said there are enough on the right who do believe in idea of Jews having this right to have this land, so one could make the connection to the they are being treated with manifest destiny ideology that was prevalent in America for centuries.

    You did use my words as quotes so one has to assume you were directing the comments towards me. No offense taken.

  • Rob L

    Tom Ashbrook is the most talented person on radio, without a doubt. There’s hardly another person in the media these days that persists with tough questions even when their guest tries to shirk them. And he doesn’t let the guests put words in his mouth or push him around either. Thanks, Tom, you’re a national treasure.

  • Michael

    Well,

    It is true not all israeli’s see manifest destiny but what is also true is that the ones who do are in government and currently have a large enough majority to push policy that way, i wouldn’t say over simplification, i would say a fast forward and correction of policies the Americans used on the Indians which is hard for Israel to used today

    Here’s is a map of Jewish settlements in 2002, done by its human rights group within israel

    http://www.btselem.org/Download/Settlements_Map_Eng.PDF

    As for Indians and Americans comparison to Israel current action are very similar, both Indians and arabs living there had no problem and welcomed at first the new settlers until the settlers started encroaching on native land,creating laws that discriminated,dehumanizing the natives, than though such policies when of course violence broke out with the natives either forcing them off or killing the natives to have access to there land, both americans and israel created treaties or comprises hardly fair or they themselves stood by and used any resistance as a excuse to take break there commitment and take more land in the name of self defense.

    Since in today’s world’s news travels within minutes,as well as we now have Human rights groups and treaties they cannot openly say out and out they wish to start killing pallies, or force them off there land or that they believe that all the land should be theres so they have to find ways to make it so bad, by starving,collective punishment, walls, barriers to work,live a humane life.Beleive that if they can get it so bad that the arabs will leave there land, or walling them in reservations like the indians have except actual walls (while at the same time giving them no rights to vote, ) as well as slowly taking land bit by bit,by offering more and more housing for anyone that wishes to live there, like the U.S. did to settle the Midwest.When peace becomes close to happening the israeli government will usually claim to have to take over a temple or religious site, as in 2007, and now, or announce new settlements, or not recognizing the hamas government even when it would fair and square in its democracy, than going on to assassinate it’s elected officials (this was occurring before the election, and israel actually supported hamas at a time to weaken fatah and the PLO)

    Israel always points to hamas as the problem but look up what Fatah has done and was willing to give up for peace, yet fatah has even less land in the west bank, protesters are killed with rubber bullets and close ranged gas canisters, many arabs are attack by settlers (not reported in the U.S. news) 60% of the west bank is completely controlled by Israel, while the other 40% the Fatah government has some Independence, arab leaders have offer israel recognition if it returned to its 1967 boarder, arab leaders even stated they would as well if israel agreed with Abbas on land swaps to create a two state solution’s , hamas has said the same about the recognition of Israel.

    we heard all about the rocket that killed a man in israel, we heard his name,background family, and some reporting said the group that did it (which was not hamas) but did anyone hear the report of two gazan children playing in a field who had a bomb dropped on them? there background? there family? Israel response was not of apathy or sadness for the loss of two children but blamed hamas for having tunnels.

    Israel policy much like the Americans back than was to dehumanize, de-legitimatize, any keep it’s superiority over the natives, be it by paper or the gun. Just look at their F.M. comments pretty scary, even there P.M. comments made are pretty bad, as i don’t excuse hamas for it’s terrorism so to should we not excuse israel for theirs, but what i see all the time they is no acknowledgment by israeli government that it does target civilians for political purposes(i understand why)What even more frustrates me is that the U.S. media does not Acknowledge this is going on as well. Even Israel news papers show more dissent that our U.S. media,(few exceptions of course but rarely)

    I keep asking in both our Media and Political sphere why the white wash and one-sided reporting that everyone around the world can see is happening?is not a protester killed in iran equally of value as a protester killed in the west bank in the U.S.?

  • Conor

    The apologists for hamas and terrorism on this site are inexcusable . I am really shocked by the biases and hatred of Israel . Do you people get paid to write all these lies or is it pure hatred?

  • conor

    The apologists for terrorism would rather see Sharia law rule Israel .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fbXvq_ZIbw

  • Michael

    I bet you be saying the same thing against Nelson M. during the South african Apartheid, the same thing during the Jim Crow Laws, I bet

    “The apologists for terrorism ”
    You present yourself as one, you used Sharia Law as a justification of Israel to commit terrorism and break human rights laws, cause of course with your reasoning by israel doing so is stopping Sharia Law. the poster claim others are biased than post a video of Sharia to jusified israeli actions.

    Explain this, and how this is legal smart one
    “in the video it shows the IDF intentionally trying to break a civilians arm,does your hatred and blind belief cloud you from abuse or is it cause there are Jewish and the victims are arab make it find?

    “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm95gqdiwJQ&feature=PlayList&p=784989FC9C95C322&index=10″

    explain this as well jackass,the use of children as human shields.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO5qhvbiQgM&feature=PlayList&p=784989FC9C95C322&index=11

  • Michael

    There was a video of U.S. experts stating the same thing one of the guest said about how the blind support for israel is making the U.S. less safe and weak.

    If Americans Knew What Israel Is Doing! VIDEO WAS CENSORED

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynWjYHP91gA

    Biased is that most Americans dont know about this.Biased is labeling all palestinians as terrorist, labeling all deaths of children as terrorist,

    Anyone interested in learning more instead of the half-truths we are often fed in U.S. news read the BBC news, or check out on Youtube representativepress, nadar, Ron Paul,

    here the below is the British Jewish Zionist MP Gerald Kaufman says Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEYz00MqCx0

  • Michael

    A large Western delegation of Parliamentarians recently visited Gaza and have now returned to their home countries to tell tales of horror, which they witnessed there. The British representatives

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjuRb9u-JM8

  • jeffe

    Michael are you sure that the Arabs welcomed the Jews into this area? The clash of Jewish and Arab nationalism goes back to the British Mandate after WW1 and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. (Ottoman rule 1841–1917)

    There is not a lot of evidence to support this. Sure Sephardi Jews have lived in relative peace with their Arab neighbors but after WW1 with the influx of European Jews this quickly gave way to hostility. Jews in other Arab nations have not fared well either. Over a million have fled Arab countries due to hostilities and programs.

  • Z, Vayman

    Palestinian Jews and Arabs must have the rights to live anywhere in Palestine.
    Palestinians have the right to form their nation-states in Palestine.
    Arabs did form a Palestinian state in Transjordan with the capital in the former Circassian town and with the foreign rulers–Mr Chomsky calls it now a “dictatorship”. Jews are barred from from this part of Palestine. Jews are barred from the nascent state in Gaza and they are barred from the West Bank regions controlled by the Arab rulers in Ramallah helped by the American general,
    Jews formed an Arab-Jewish state of Israel where an Arab briefly was a President, Arabs become ministers and serve in the army.
    Only a couple of Jews are welcome in Ramallah and Jews live in their Bantustans in Palestine

  • conor

    certainly not, Nelson Mandela was a great man for his cause …. your fabricated lies against Israel must com from some of the millions of fascist web sites. Your obviously a fanatic

  • Michael

    jeffe,

    evidence would clearly be that Sephardi jews did live in relative peace with arabs, as i pointed out European jews came to Palestinian, and created laws to discriminated against arabs, kicked many arab families off there land, and told the Sephardi jews that it was there duty to hire only Jews, live with only jews. The Second Aliyah and leading up to the founding of israel we see such hatred between the two,.To note much like Hamas the founders of israel used terrorism to get what they wanted(king david hotel is a big example of this).Many being elected as it leaders. As for Jews not in Muslim countries, follow history and Muslim countries were far more friendly to Jews to Western Christan ones. Southern Spain(Moors) for a few hundred years was a example of this, Iran still has a (though small) Jewish population,(the same iran that people say they wish to wipe israel off the map)Irans not placing them in ghetto for its national security, as well as Yemen, and even with funding both by israel and the U.S. to move them to israel.

    My question is was there not a drive by the founders of israel to move all the Jews to israel? could this not partly explain the lack in # of jews in arab countries?

    In response to Conner,

    Lies to someone clearly as misinformed as yourself, I listed my sources, the only thing you listed was a video on Sharia Law and somehow this justify israel illegal actions. I hardly say the BBC is a facist website, as well as israel humans rights groups, or mid east foreign policy, or NPR, or French News, but your free to deluded yourself all you want.

    You still failed to respond to Israeli troops caught breaking a mans arm, nor the troops using boys as human shields, ohh wait those are fabricated lies even when its caught of video documented and recorded.Geez you calling someone a fanatic is like calling the kettle black.

    Fascist is by definition what israel government is trying to do

    “Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.[1][2][3][4] Fascists seek to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives; values; and systems such as the political system and the economy.[5][6] Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum,[7][8][9][10][11][12] although some scholars claim that fascism has been influenced by both the left and the right.[13][14]

    “Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.[“”

    The right to self defense. wink wink

  • Jim Hansen

    Money is tight. The Republicans actually have a point (possibly only one) that we need to find ways to cut spending. Our support to conflict in the Middle East is costing us a tremendous number fo dollars (directly and indirectly). Taking care of our poor and defenseless and supporting/rebuilding Haiti are more in our national interest than supporting wars and conflicts (especially ones that don’t involve us).

    I believe that it time that Congress pass a resolution cutting all aid/support to Israel and Palestine.
    “…Recognizing your sovereignty as independent states, we will not interfere with your internal disputes, HOWEVER, in these tight economic times we are no longer able to support you in your on-going battles…. we wish you well and if/when you decide to work on a peaceful solution to your disputes, we will support you in ways that are economically possible.”

  • Sheridan

    Come on, Tom, I expect better of you. You interrupted Martin Indyk a number of times.

    Whether eastern Jerusalem is disputed and occupied, it should have come out that it’s also now part of Israel, having been annexed, just as the U.S. annexed New Mexico, Arizona and California.

    It should have come out that the neighborhood in question, Ramat Shlomo in northeast Jerusalem, is already a Jewish neighborhood, and would remain within Israel according to every proposed peace plan.

    It should have come out that it’s the Palestinians who refuse to negotiate, not the Israelis.

    I have come to expect more balanced and fair programming from you.

  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8580150.stm Kbstn

    Israel refuses to negotiate. Israel continues to ethnically cleanse and murder innocent Palestinians. They shoot young farm boys in the back of the head.

    The Zionist movement will bring the world to the brink of collapse, just like the Nazis did.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8580150.stm

  • Sheridan

    MYTH:

    “Rachel Corrie was murdered by Israel while she was peacefully protesting against the illegal demolition of a Palestinian home.”

    FACT:

    American Rachel Corrie was killed in the Gaza Strip on March 16, 2003, when she entered an area where Israeli forces were carrying out a military operation. The incident occurred while IDF forces were removing shrubbery along the security road near the border between Israel and Egypt at Rafah to uncover explosive devices, and destroying tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to illegally smuggle weapons from Egypt to Gaza. Corrie was not demonstrating for peace or trying to shield innocent civilians, she was instead interfering with a military operation to legally demolish an empty house used to conceal one of these tunnels.

    A misleading photo published by the Associated Press gave the impression that Corrie was standing in front of the bulldozer and shouting at the driver with a megaphone, trying to prevent the driver from tearing down a building in the refugee camp. This photo, which was taken by a member of Corrie’s organization, was not shot at the time of her death, however, but hours earlier. The photographer said that Corrie was actually sitting and waving her arms when she was struck. 56

    Israel’s Judge Advocate’s Office investigated the incident and concluded that the driver of the bulldozer never saw or heard Corrie because she was standing behind debris that obstructed the view of the driver whose field of view was limited by the small armored windows of his cab. An autopsy found that the cause of Corrie’s death was falling debris. 58

    The State Department warned Americans not to travel to Gaza, and Israel made clear that civilians who enter areas where troops are engaged in counter-terror operations put themselves unnecessarily at risk.

    This was not the first time protestors had tried to obstruct Israeli operations, but the IDF has made every effort to avoid harming them. This case received worldwide publicity in large measure because it was the first such incident where a protestor was killed. In fact, the army had told Corrie and other demonstrators from the anti-Israel International Solidarity Movement (ISM) to move out of the way. “It’s possible they [the protesters] were not as disciplined as we would have liked,” admitted Thom Saffold, a founder and organizer of ISM. 59

    It is also possible Rachel Corrie was doing just what ISM placed her there to do. The International Solidarity Movement was spawned, largely funded and directly supervised by the PLO. American members of the organization are trained and funded by the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. Though ISM touts non-violence, in practice it does the opposite by organizing riots by the security fences between Gaza and Israel every Friday. In the words of a spokesperson for the California ISM on al-Jazeera: “We recognize that violence is necessary and it is permissible for oppressed and occupied people to use armed resistance and we recognize their right to do so.” 59a

    The death of an innocent civilian is always tragic, and the best way to avoid such tragedies in the future is, first and foremost, by Hamas putting an end to terror, and stopping the smuggling operations that have brought huge quantities of illegal weapons into the Gaza Strip. Activists interested in peace should be protesting the Palestinian actions. Activists also have every right to express their views about Israel’s policies, but they should take care to avoid the appearance of siding with the terrorists or placing themselves in positions where they could be inadvertently caught in the crossfire of a counter-terror operation or otherwise endangered by entering an area where military operations are being conducted.

    56 Christian Science Monitor, (April 2, 2003).
    58 Jerusalem Post, (June 26, 2003).
    59 Washington Post, (March 17, 2003).
    59a Cynthia Ozick, “Martyr (A review of My Name is Rachel Corrie: Taken From the Writings of Rachel Corrie)”, The New Republic, (December 7, 2006).

  • Michael

    Russian View,

    “The situation in the region is red-hot again. Anything can start a fire again, even the most insignificant excuse. After all, Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in 2000 was not such a big deal but it lead to the second intifada and hundreds of victims on both sides, not to mention the change of power in Israel and global re-alignment of forces among the Palestinian political elite.

    There have been many such excuses in recent time. Apart from the construction of housing on occupied territories, Palestinians felt insulted by Israel’s intention to include holy places in Hebron and Bethlehem into the list of its national heritage, but they are held sacred by the Muslims as well. The opening of the restored synagogue in Jerusalem’s Old Town has become one more source of irritation. It appeared to be higher than Muslim mosques. Strange as it may seem, but this is a very serious issue.

    A new intifada could have started this week. Fortunately, the Palestinian administration in Ramallah displayed reserve and Israelis did not react too sharply to the Arab teenagers who were throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at them. They did not want to aggravate the Palestinians, the majority of whom are sick and tired of endless clashes and economic despair. They simply want to live but the calls for jihad and intifada are still sounding strong.

    A war for shrines, a synagogue taller than a mosque – all these phrases seem to be taken from a textbook on medieval history but who said that anything has changed there since then? Democracy and progress are yet another illusion, and this applies not only to Muslims but also to other communities, including the Jewish one. The way people behave still remains the same”

    http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20100318/158242848.html

  • Michael

    I also call BS on Rachel Corrie and the falsehood you present,(nice references to the right-wing site The New Republic)

    The BBC has released a remarkable film about the killing of three international peace activists by the Israeli army in the occupied Gaza Strip. Documentary evidence provided in the film strongly suggests that the American Rachel Corrie – and two British activists – were murdered.

    Last spring, within a period of seven weeks, one British and one American peace activist were killed by the Israeli army in Rafah, a Palestinian town at the southern end of the occupied Gaza Strip. A second Briton was shot in the head leaving him brain-dead. In two of the cases the Israeli army is being blamed for murder; the third is considered “attempted murder.”

    An Israeli military bulldozer crushed the 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie, who was the first to die on March 16, as she tried to prevent it from demolishing a Palestinian doctor’s home.

    British photographer Tom Hurndall, 22, was left brain dead after being shot in the head by an Israeli soldier on April 11. British cameraman James Miller, 34, was shot by an Israeli sniper as he left a house with two other journalists on May 2.

    A recently released 50-minute “hard-hitting” program produced by the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) investigated the three killings and provides crucial video evidence. “That’s murder,” an Israeli soldier said after viewing footage from the film, When Killing is Easy.

    When Killing is Easy was shown 4 times to a worldwide audience on the commercial BBC World television network on November 22 and 23. Some cable television viewers in the United States would have been able to view the program.

    The three international observers died, or nearly died, at the hands of the Israeli military between the middle of March and the first week of May. Hurndall was shot in the head as he took a Palestinian toddler, who had frozen under Israeli fire, into his arms. Today, Hurndall is brain-dead and is kept alive on life-support equipment.

    http://www.realnews247.com/bbc_rachel_corrie_report.htm

    The BBC film was produced by John Sweeney, whose article on the killings, “Silenced Witnesses,” was published in The Independent (UK) on Oct. 30.

    “Making our film, When Killing is Easy, has been the most harrowing ordeal of my professional life,” Sweeney wrote. “But it is vital that it is evidential – and that is really tough when the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) have refused to speak to us.”
    Rachel Corrie, the first of the three to die, was using her body to defend the home of Dr. Samir Nasser Allah from an American-made bulldozer used by the Israeli army to demolish the homes of Palestinians. Corrie was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). ISM members stand between the Israeli bulldozers and the homes that the IDF wants to flatten.

    Israeli bulldozers have razed thousands of Palestinian homes in the occupied Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The bulldozers are primarily made by the Illinois-based Caterpillar company.

  • Michael

    An Israeli pathologist, Dr. Yehudah Hiss, noted that Rachel appeared to have been run over by the bulldozer, Sweeney wrote. Hiss found the cause of death to be “pressure to the chest.” Her shoulder blades had been crushed; her spine was broken in five places and six ribs broken. Her face was apparently slashed by the bulldozer blade.

    The IDF produced a report that says, “Corrie was not run over by an engineering vehicle.” It added, “for good measure” Sweeney says, that Corrie was “hidden from view of the vehicle’s operator.”

    The footage seen in the BBC film proves these statements to be false. The family of Rachel Corrie believes the IDF report to “be a blatant fabrication,” Sweeney wrote.

    The British cameraman James Miller was shot dead by an Israeli sniper as he left a house in Rafah with two other journalists on the night of May 2. An Associated Press TV News (APTN) cameraman filmed the entire scene.

    One of the three journalists held a white flag; Miller was shining a light on the flag and a third journalist held up her British passport. There was no shooting and the area was quiet as the audio track of the film clearly proves.

    The three had walked about 60 feet toward an Israeli armed personnel carrier to request safe passage to leave the area when the first shot was fired. “We are British journalists,” Saira Shah cried out into the darkness.

    “Then comes the second shot, which killed James,” Sweeney wrote. “He was shot in the front of his neck. The bullet was Israeli issue, fired, according to a forensic expert, from less than 200 meters [600 feet] away.”

  • david guttman

    I am in Los Angeles. Today 3/25/10 Israeli newspapers such as the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz, are reporting in their top headlines that General David Petraeus, phoned on 3/24/10 the Israeli Chief of Staff-Gabi Ashkenazi, and appologized to him for being misqouted by others that he(Petraeus)said that Israeli policies are endangering the lives of US soldiers in Iraq, Pakistan and Afganistan.

    General Petraeus told Ashkenazi, that he Petraeus never said or testified that Israeli policies are endangering the lives of US soldiers.

    NPR please verify the above and report it on your news hour.

    David Guttman

  • Michael Hochman

    I listened to this podcast last week and am finally getting around to comment on it. While I cannot defend Isarel’s and PM Netanyahu’s decision to build settlements at this time in disputed areas in Jerusalem I felt that your podcast left out the historical perspective. For the past 6 decades, Israel has had a continuous peace offer on the table, and the Palestinians have repeatedly rejected it. While I do not agree with PM Netanyahu’s decision to build in Jerusalem, I see it as the result of frustration with the peace process and the lack of a willing partner on the other side. Even if Israel didn’t annouce the new settlements, we have no reason to suspect any further progress will be made by Obama. This perspective was not represented at all on the show.

    Additionally, there was no discussion of the fact that the Palestinians the same week named a square after a terrorist who killed over 30 Israelis, including Americans. This decision is an order of magnitude worse than Israels decision to build settlements.

    Finally, based on Gen Petraeus’ comments, and those of other top US officials over the past week, the concerns about the impact of the Arab-Israeli peace process on the US wars were greatly misrepresented in your show. While the impasse in the peace process may be one of numerous layers contributing to tensions between the US and the Arab world, these tensions are based on much deeper fundamental ideological issues: both Israel and the US believe in personal freedoms, woman and gay rights, religious freedoms, democracy etc etc; many in the Arab world, particularly the extremists the US is fighting, do not.

    You and your guests were quite appropriate to raise questions about the Israeli decision to build new settlements in disputed areas on Jerusalem. But your show was a largely one-sided attack on Israel, which, while far from perfect, has always behaved in a way that is consistent with the progressive values most listeners of NPR believe in.

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